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Short Film Programme 2: Contemporary

Short Film Programme 2: Contemporary

Our two short film programmes feature works that blur the boundaries between music and film from artists who cross and redefine those long held divisions.

This programme, a cross section of the utterly contemporary should prove to be a persuasive justification for the ignoring of traditional artistic boundaries.

A Physical Ring (Fysikaalinen rengas), Dir. Mika Taanila, Sound. Mika Vainio, Finland, 2002, 5 mins

A Physical Ring is a found-footage film configured into a site-specific installation for between one and four projectors. Its raw material is documentation of anonymous physical tests that took place in Finland during the 1940s; the original purpose of the tests remains unknown. Through careful editing techniques, the inanimate research footage is assembled into a piece of kinetic art. An integral part of the piece is the specially commissioned soundtrack by Mika Vainio.

Linear Phases, Dir. Ian Helliwell, UK, 2002, 2 mins

Particle Acceleration, Dir. Ian Helliwell, UK, 2003, 5 mins

Colour Stream, Dir. Ian Helliwell, UK, 2003, 5 mins

Brighton-based Ian Helliwell predigiously makes short super 8mm films, riots of animated colours, shapes and transfers and pairs them with specifically composed recorded soundtracks using customising electronic instruments He also curates themed programmes for the Cinematheque in Brighton and the LUX, and scours the weekend boot sales for obscure equipment and materials for future projects.

My Kingdom for a Lullaby #2, Dir. Michaela Grill and Billy Roisz, Sound. Christof Kurzmann, Toshimaru Nakamura, Martin Siewert, Austria, 2003, 10 mins

“Sound and image fuse in a playful way common to experimental works rather than directly, and the element which can be used to describe this abstract audiovisual work—next the computer-aided production process—is the material surface. This surface is located on that part of the spectrum of colors where white and black can mix to an endless degree, and in a graphic sense, artistic arrangement of musical impulses is used to bend, obstruct and disintegrate horizontal and vertical lines.

Great concentration is required of the optical and acoustic senses due to the film’s minimalist quality, and this is part of the overall concept. The inner processes which accompany perception—such as imagination and fantasy—should intensify the viewer’s experience.” Christa Benzer

Live in Bruxelles: Solo, Dir. Lukasz Lysakowski, Poland, 2002, 5 mins

Lukasz Lysakowski, a native of Poland, is a media artist exploring the nature of self and society as reflected by their use of technology. Lukasz’s video work is an experiment in the relationship between image and sound as defined by the context of digital – software medium. It is an exploration of the strategies of the bit as a medium and it’s effect on the narrative of moving images. These new strategies have focused on achieving an alternative view of the moving image narrative; montage as collage and the simultaneous relationship of audio and video. With generative programs and algorithmic systems, Lukasz creates custom software to perform a live visual environment suggesting a substitute to the traditional narrative and linear structure of the moving image. Working with sound artists, Lukasz seeks to create a texture that is a reflection of the fragile bits and digital noise of our daily existence.

During the performances, video signals create audio signals and audio signals create video signals. The performances begin with a single video signal, based on it’s color value it generates a tonal value, starting the initial point of the feedback loop. The “solo” performances follow Lukasz’s belief that no act is blind or empty, all actions are like a ripple in a pond, always vibrating and creating.

Avian Requiem, Dir. Kurte Ralske, 2002, 4 mins

Explores the edge of the literal and the abstract. Colorfield clouds dissolve into each other; layers of half-recognized images pour over each other like liquid. Glimpses are seen of (what may be) the interior of a church, a fractured bird, and lights in the distance. Change is constant but gradual. The mood is funereal but transcendent.

Improvised in real-time during a live performance at Theatre Mercellis in Bruxelles, Belgium on February 20th, 2002 and was created with the author’s own custom software Auvi.

Petit Palais, Dir. Anouk de Clerq and Joris Cool, Sound. Ryoji Ikeda, Belgium, 2002, 15 mins

A high electronic tone demands our attention and sparks off a journey through a computer-drawn space. We land up in a minimalist landscape dominated by the suggestion that something is out there in the distance. The horizon allows us a first glimpse of rectangles which, when we come closer, define buildings as in a city, or walls as in an indoor space. Rhythmically and temporized to the music by Ryoji Ikeda, we are being steered through the representation, after which the next image is already twinkling seductively in the distance.

This contemplative and absorbing work was made for a presentation by the Belgian fashion designer Bruno Pieters at the Petit Palais in Paris. The combination of music, visual art, fashion, choreography and architecture is typical of the work of Anouk De Clercq.

Sea in You, Dir. Ryoichi Kurokawa, Japan, 2003, 4 mins

Human feelings produced with abstract visual and sound elements. Anger and joy, sadness is expressed with drops of water flowing. It is like the sea, sometimes intense, at times its movement gentle and also vivid or flowing without color.

Reve du Bruissement, Dir. AI_HZ, 2002, 6 mins

Mixed with panasonc AVE 5 console and filtered by GST 2000 Amiga / color modulation / playing with the icon of a perpetual walker.

Silmukka, Dir. Samuli Alapuranen, Finland, 2002, 3 mins

Samuli Alapuranen lives in Helsinki, Finland, working as a freelance graphic designer, video artist and musician. “I tend to work very slowly. Silmukka, as most of my videos, could have been done in a couple of days, but for me it took almost two and a half years. I’d been fascinated by the mechanical animals in shop and super market windows’ christmas season decorations and wanted to make a film about them. The material for the video was shot in Helsinki during December 1999 and December 2000 and finally got edited in April 2002.”

Melancholia, Dir. James Elaine and William Basinski, USA, 2003, 3 mins 30 secs

Black and white Super 8 footage shot at the Flushing Meadows site of the World’s Fair in New York by James Elaine, full of velvety grain is paired with the sound piece Melanchoia II by William Basinski. The camera follows a route though trees before opening up to circle a huge spherical globe scuplture before heading back though the tunnel of trees. Affecting, emotional and very beautiful.

Jet, Dir. Michaela Schwentner, Austria, 2003, 6 mins

“This video’s exhilarating dynamism results from a precisely composed interplay of color and form which structures the viewer’s perception of it significantly. michaela schwentner’s work method closely resembles that of electroacoustic sound artists radian who employ a variety of painterly elements which are allowed to interact, overlapped or contrasted. Vertical and horizontal lines are arranged asymmetrically to resemble a grid over a diffuse reality which shifts up or down along with the lines, appears to move past or into the fore- or background or dissolves, parts of it disappearing completely. The view into the depth of the space is blocked repeatedly, the view of the real world remains fuzzy and fragmentary. The grainy black-and-white of this fleeting reality, reminiscent of photographs or archival film footage, passes at a speed which precludes registering it in its entirety; solely subjective assembly is possible. Variously sized orange dots and squares employed minimalistically are in harmony with musical punctuation, creating a picturesque moment.

The result is counterpoint, not only with regard to colour, to the otherwise cool shades of the images moving past, but also spatial. While the multiple layers suggest depth, the dots remain on the surface. They appear and disappear, then become permeable and lay circular colour filters over the images behind them. The journey through this landscape of sound and image passes quickly, apparently stopping only when the music is extremely concentrated. It stops in fact when the viewer is gently brought back to earth by landscape scenes at the conclusion.” Christa Benzer

Blinq, Dir. Billy Roisz, Austria, 2003, 6 mins

“In film and related audiovisual forms according to Michel Chion –the relationship between sound and image is primarily vertical, and the former tends to play a secondary role. This same applies, though inversely, to music videos, in which the musical structure sets the rhythm of the editing and all motion in general, regardless of the freedom of the images themselves.blinq questions such audio-visual relationships in a radical way. Billy Roisz had 10 musicians from Austria, Germany and Japan produce short electronic sound files. These fragments, some lasting only a few seconds, were then transformed into visual patterns by means of feedback loops which function as electro-acoustic impulses and then further manipulated.

The resulting images, each of which conforms to a clear reduced visual concept, were taken out of synch with their original soundtracks: A black frame is shown with acoustic accompaniment, followed by a silent version of the corresponding visual miniature. At first, the musical structures or elements of what has just been heard are recognizable in the visual patterns, which are at times reminiscent of macro shots of microbiological specimens. For example, red columns pulse according to tonal frequencies of the preceding musical fragment. This relationship then seems to gradually reverse, with the images producing the succeeding music. In addition to its aesthetic qualities, blinq initiates a successful experiment with the perception of “preconceived” images and lingering sounds, before and after the fact.” Gerald Weber

Zikfijergijok, Dir. reMI, Austria, The Netherlands, 2003, 3 mins

“Electronic exorcism? Computerized global burning? Digital dance of death? In the beginning reMI’s video zijkfijergijok makes a textual reference to eschatology and other finalities. Excerpts of collages from an old folio apparently a religious book of instruction or lamentations supply the background which is evenly overlapped by violently chaotic grids. Everything is reduced to fractions of seconds and dissected or shredded to the scale of subliminal levels of perception. In this work reMI goes a step beyond its previous videographic crash tests, all of which were abstract. Rather than the classic geometric coloured bars and video test patterns, numerous types ofanalog secularities serve as the big crash or, more specifically, the unhindered electronic impact: illustrations from old encyclopedias and textbooks (on subjects such as solar and lunar eclipses, the medieval medical technique of bloodletting and exorcism), fragments of texts and sentences taken from related contexts (”The great lamentation begins here”, ”the unhindered view”), and apparently irrelevant information (”incipit lamentatio”, ”Solo Cello and Voice”). These fragments of knowledge passed down through the ages are just good enough or sufficiently charged that they are suitable for the great revelation in pixel form: abruptly and harshly flickering graphic patterns with piercingly overmodulated ”microprocessed” scratch sounds that mercilessly tear everything projected above and below them along into the digital hell.

At the end of zijkfijergijok modern information storage media (which employ zeros, ones, vectors, voltage pulses, etc.) are mercilessly ground to electronic waste in the same way as the venerable encyclopedias of the past. Post-informational, post-referential intensity.” Christian Höller

Below are some online links which you can use for reference. To see the films in their original glory, check with the distributors of the films for their terms and conditions.


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